Missing mass with relatives in town?

My husband and I missed mass this weekend. The reason: we are trying to get our house ready to put on the market in 2 weeks and my mom and her husband drove in from out of town to help us with some things hubby cannot do on his own. They worked on the house all day on Saturday until evening and started again on Sunday at 6:45 am. They didn’t even finish putting the front door on the house by 8:30 last night before they had to leave to drive back to their town 3 hours away. They won’t be able to come back and help us again before we put the house on the market. I stayed home and did things around the house as well as taking care of our 2 kids who are both under 3, so taking them to church by myself is almost impossible. Is this a valid reason for missing for both of us?

Did you had a choice in the matter i.e. between working on the house vs. going to mass? And how did you choose? Therein lies your answer.

Well of course we had a CHOICE, just like I have a choice not to go when I have a fever or when my car breaks down and I have to call a taxi and spend $50 on cab fare, but it certainly wasn’t REASONABLE to attend considering the familial obligations and the massive amount of work at home that was very time-sensitive.

That’s my real question. At what point does it become an unreasonable expectation to attend mass on a given Sunday? I would think that family coming in from out of town to help with something around the house that absolutely could not be done on any other day would preclude mass for a single weekend.

My opinion, it becomes an unreasonable expectation when one has exhausted all the possibilities at one’s disposal to get to mass. Having said that, if it was me in this situation, I would have made sure we got to mass at some point in the weekend, probably Saturday evening, given the details provided. I would have manipulated the work scheducle some how, some way. Did your mom also work or did she help you watch the kids? Worse case scenerio, I would have had grandma come with me to mass or stay home and watch the kids while I went to mass at some point in the weekend.

It does sort of sound to me as if you slacked on your obligation this weekend, though I can appreciate you being uncomfortable in saying to your guests, “Hey, thanks for the help. We’re going to Mass now. We’ll be back in an hour.” (Especially if you parents aren’t religious.) It is probably best if you go to confession about it and talk to the priest.

Looking after kids under the age of seven, especially if they are sick, is a valid reason to miss mass if one parent goes to mass and the other stays home.

Life is messy. We don’t like to screw up. we do the best we can. Sometimes it’s not quite good enough. You could spend half an hour going to confession, or a few days hanging around this thread trying to feel better.:wink:

Prayers for the successful sale of your house.


You were not ill, your children were not ill, you were not caring for someone who was ill or incapacitated. It was not impossible to go to Mass (i.e. in the bush country in Africa). You had no reason to miss Mass. It is one hour, you could have made arrangements. You could have, at the outset of the weekend, decided on what Mass or Masses you would attend, how you would switch off or go together, how you would allocate your time, and informed your visitors.

I can’t image your parents being offended if you went to church for an hour. You would simply tell them at the beginning of the weekend when you laid out the work plan, and then on Sunday, politely ask if they’d like to come along. Then they could come along, or relax for an hour, or get some of the work done - their choice!

It seems too many people are worried about offending others!

It is physically impossible to go, not merely inconvenient to go. Examples would be: because you yourself are physically incapacitated or because you are caring for someone who cannot care for themselves or be left alone and they are unable to go, you are in a place where no mass is availble, you make an honest attempt to attend Mass and something goes wrong (i.e. flat tire on the way to the last mass of the day, your neighbor’s house catches on fire and you are helping them and there are no other masses later, inclement weather that makes traveling impossible or dangerous)

Nope. You take an hour out of your schedule and you make time for the Lord and Savior.

Make time to go confession.

It’s hard when our Sunday’s are busy. Yesterday was Pentecost but I also had to work all day. During my lunch hour, I went to my parish and helped decorate the altar. I scheduled the readers for the 1:00 pm mass and I made sure all the books were set but I ended up leaving before mass began so that I could get back to work.

I went to a nursing home for mass on my dinner break and that’s how I met my obligation.

LeSainte, I have missed mass for less important reasons than you. We all make mistakes and that’s why the sacrament of penance is available to us.

'cos that ain’t going to happen;):stuck_out_tongue:

You’re not the first to miss, and you won’t be the last.

I’m going to once again put myself on the line here, and say the Lord understands. thou shall keep holy the Lords say, is not say go to Mass and worship, yous feel bad for missing, but then again you had family over to help, did you dishonor the Lord, the Lord knows your heart and that your not in the habbit of missing Mass. And in a way I do believe it would of been rude to take off and go to Mass when your family came to help yous. Go to confessoin and explain it to the Priest. So don’t beat yourselfs up over it. I hope yous sell your home quickly.

I take it your parents are NOT Catholic? If they are, did they blow off their own obligation in favor of home renovations?

No, your last statement is untrue. Unless there is some real reason, such as illness, to miss Mass, we are still obligated. You gave an example of having a choice to attend Mass when you have a fever? That is true illness and it would be inconsiderate to go to Mass when you might spread an illness to others in the congregation.

That is not the teaching of the church that Jesus founded. I recognize that you do not proclaim yourself Catholic, but the OP is bound by church teaching and offering advice that is counter to that is problematic.

I would encourage you to start a, ‘Where in the bible does it say we are supposed to worship on Sunday?’ thread. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you learn.

Thanks for the replies all! No, my family is not Catholic. I just read on these threads all the time that a work shift or some such reason is valid for missing mass, and yet this work, which would have been impossible to do on ANY other occasion, is not valid. I don’t get that at all. The guys were literally working during EVERY single mass, even Saturday’s vigil, after which we had to drive across town to meet the rest of the family who we have not seen for almost 3 months. My husband and I didn’t get the locks on the front door until after 11 pm last night after working since 6:45 am (we almost had to just go to bed with no locks on the front door!). I’m just wondering where during all this with 2 babies and family in town we were supposed to find the time. As I type this my husband is outside STILL working on planting trees and I’m getting ready to give the kids a bath.

Are we supposed to kill ourselves to get to mass?

I disagree.It is an OBLIGATION,if not met,places ones soul in the state of mortal sin.I do agree that,thankfully,through the sacrament of reconiliation,absolution can be obtained.To mislead the OP with incorrect info regarding this matter is wrong.

This is not the first time you have posted about missing mass because family was in town and you thought it would be OK to miss, or it would inconvenience you to go to Mass.

The point is, you did not have to “kill” yourself to get to Mass you simply had to make it a priority. For whatever reason you do not want to make it a priority over family lunches, family visits, and home improvement projects.

You simply plan this into your weekend and other projects ahead of time.

Don’t expect people here to support you in that prioritization.

If someone had a real bad toothache (broken tooth, abscess etc) you probably would have found time to go to the dentist.

If someone broke an arm you probably would have found time to go the doctors.

If you broke a window moving furniture you would have found time to fix it, or at least cover it until it could get fixed.

Mass is just as much a priority.

I’ve missed mass in the past because I felt too tired, or overwhelmed (and may have had a valid reason since we have a kid with severe disabilities), but since I’ve recommitted to my faith I find that mass invigorates and sustains me. It gives me energy - and yes, it takes time and effort, and I miss many motorbike rides with buddies because of it.

I agree with you, Ike.
If God and the Eucharist are the priority,
then they remain the priority. It’s that simple.



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